Saturated fats: Not essential fat

Fat is a major source of energy and helps human body absorb vitamins. It is also important for proper growth, and for keeping human body healthy. A completely fat-free diet would not be healthy, yet it is important that fat be consumed in moderation.

Saturated fatty acids are important as sources of energy and as components that make up cell membranes. They are not considered “essential” in the diet because the human body can synthesize its own saturated fatty acids.

Saturated fats – which come from foods of animal origin such as meat, poultry, milk, butter and cheese, as well as from palm, coconut, and palm kernel oil – have been shown to increase total blood cholesterol levels, especially the undesirable LDL portion and increase the risk for heart disease.

Dishes with many ingredients — like pizza, casseroles, burgers, tacos, and sandwiches — tend to have ingredients that are high in saturated fats.

Numerous epidemiological studies indicate that a higher saturated fat intake is associated with increased incidence of or death from heart disease. In some studies results differ for males and females, and a high intake of dietary fiber weakens the association with saturated fat in some studies.

To limit the amount of saturated fats consumption, choose lower-fat and lean options of dairy, meat, and poultry — like skim milk, lean beef, and grilled chicken breast without the skin.
Saturated fats: Not essential fat

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